H Is For Housewife
This image from the Library of Congress titled, “War views. No. 1501, Camp life, Army of the Potomac – writing to friends at home” shows a soldier in the foreground doing some mending.
This is a patriotic Confederate housewife with three different Confederate flags.
Someone certainly put a lot of love into this one. The roll at the end was stuffed to use for a pin cushion.
Housewifes were sewing kits for Civil War soldiers. They normally carried one uniform and if they were lucky, two. They uniforms saw heavy wear and needed constant repair so the men learned how to sew.
Most were made by the women of the family, mothers, wives, sisters, sweethearts and sometimes patriotic women made up the kits for deploying soldiers. They made them from rectangular scraps of fabric or leather that could be easily folded up and secured with a ribbon. Inside were needles, thread (usually black, white, and navy), buttons, small pieces of fabric to use for patching, a small pair of scissors, perhaps a thimble. Some included a darning egg of some sort. If a soldier was very lucky, his loved one might include a lock of hair to remember her by.
In a previous A-Z post, I wrote about buttons and mentioned Baron, one of the characters in my WIP The Rain Crow, using a housewife.
“Patriotic Confederate housewife” is an interesting term. I guess they were patriotic toward the seceding half of the country.
The Confederates States of America was their country as far as they were concerned.
Was sewing considered women’s work at the time, Julie? Did they give the men lessons before they left?
Yes, very much so except for bachelors, of course, who learned to be independent. I can imagine this was a poignant part of the leavetaking
Another bit of extraneous information that one wakes up not expecting to know. However, I am assured of great info like this from Julie Weathers who I have discovered during the #2018 Challenge.
Thanks so much. I keep trying to reply to your posts and WordPress won’t allow me to. I have before. It says my password is not recognized, but pretty sure I know my password and I don’t want to go changing things around because of a glitch. People that work on this site have it.
Anyway, I’ll figure out what the problem is and catch up.